Working with flow-oriented production brings major advantages

From the left. The project group consists of Thomas Åström, Sara Larsson, Ola Lindén, Maria Miller, Johan Persson, Bror Axelsson and Henrik Jansson. Andreas Jansson and Linn Strandberg are missing in the picture.

In our pursuit of the most satisfied customers, we constantly try to improve the way we work in all our factories. In a project at Inission Munkfors, a group has shown once again that flow-oriented production is here to stay.

For several years, Inission has had an established way of working to focus on customer value and create efficient processes for delivering this value. The way of working is called Inspirit and it is based on lean and Inission’s values. In a project at our factory in Munkfors, a group has used its principles to improve quality, lead time and working environment.

– In Swedish industry, there is a tradition of organizing the work in different process steps, where all the work is done in large batch sizes before it is sent on to the next process step. This leads to long waiting times, poorer quality and a lot of waste. We want to change this and work actively to organize the work in continuous flows with small batch sizes, preferably in one-piece flow, says Thomas Åström who is Inission’s Chief Lean Officer and project manager for this particular case.

Each one-piece flow is unique and tailored based on the product to be manufactured. The project in Munkfors began with the group jointly conducting a current situation analysis to find potential for improvements. Based on this, a number of improvement were identified in purchasing, production planning, work environment and assembly. After that, offensive goals were set, to halve the lead time and improve both quality and productivity.

– At first, there was a fear within the group that the new way of working would feel stressful and lead to a deteriorating working environment. When we told the group about the project goals, there were comments such as “these are fantasy times”. With the results in hand, everyone agrees that the work environment has improved. It is more fun to work and easier to plan jobs as the lead time varies less. We have also met the goals we set by a margin, says Henrik Jansson, Team leader Inission Munkfors.

In the beginning there were many suggestions for improvement. Ola Lindén, Production Technician Inission Munkfors, tells us more:

– One of the main tasks was to create a balanced and paced one-piece flow. The idea was that it would take the same amount of time at each station so that the flow was not stopped. Through automation of certain work steps and an agreed standardized working method, the variation was greatly reduced. We could then redistribute and connect the work steps to a coherent sequence of work steps for the final assembly until the product was packed and ready for delivery. It is noticeable that there has been a great deal of commitment around the project. Everyone has contributed and together we have created solutions that have saved us a lot of time. It has been an inspiring journey and now I am looking forward to developing more flows.

There are several different production flows at Inission Munkfors, and more is on the way. Because of the benefits, it’s no surprise; nicer working environment, easier to plan jobs, better quality and significantly shorter lead time.

– It feels great! It is proof that we are correct regarding flow-oriented production and that the principles in Inspirit work. Thanks to a great commitment, ingenuity and application of our principles, we have managed to improve for both customer and employees, says Thomas Åström in conclusion.

For more information please contact:
Thomas Åström, Chief Lean Officer Inission AB
[email protected]
+46 707 98 99 90

About Inission
Inission is a profitable total supplier that offers demanding industrial customers in the Nordic region complete electronic and mechanical products of the highest quality. Our services cover the entire product life cycle, from development and design to industrialization, volume production and aftermarket. By combining this with logistics services and a production based on high flexibility, customer adaptation and short lead times, our offer becomes very competitive. Inission has production units in Stockholm, Västerås, Borås, Munkfors, Malmö, Trondheim (Norway), Lohja (Finland), Lagedi and Tallinn (Estonia). Inission is listed on OMX Nasdaq First North.

www.inission.com